By Robert Bernstein
Nearly 3 million Californians do not have health insurance today. This, even with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being passed 11 years ago.
California Assembly Bill 1400 would solve this problem once and for all. It would create a true universal health care system in California. A system that would cost less than our current broken system, yet it would cover everyone.
This past weekend a rally and march was held by Health Care for All and other organizations to support this bill. Notably, the purpose of the rally was to ask people to contact our California State Senator Monique Limon and our California Assembly Member Steve Bennett to ask them to fight to pass this bill.
Here are my photos and videos of this event.
Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo was the keynote speaker at the event. Here is her speech along with comments by event organizer John Enrico Douglas:
News Channel 3/12 reporter Ryan Fish was on hand to cover the event for local television.
Here you can watch their story:
The group gathered in front of the Courthouse as Douglas prepared people for the march:
Here the marchers left the Courthouse. In the lead was UCSB organizer Taylor Clark who explained that universal health care is a matter of basic justice. His banner simply consisted of this quote from Dr Martin Luther King:
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
The marchers gathered in front of the office of Assembly Member Steve Bennett:
This poster explains what the bill is up against: The powerful and profitable health insurance industry. An industry with an overhead of 20-25% that pays its executives millions a year. And profits by denying care to those in need.
The march continued down State Street
As curious street side diners looked on.
The group continued over to the offices of State Senator Monique Limon.
The couple on the right in this photo are Bill and Carole Marks. They started working on this issue in 1994 when Proposition 186 was on the ballot. That would have done universal health care, but was faced with an onslaught of insurance industry disinformation advertising. I was also involved in that effort. A lot has been learned over the years since then. Including a pandemic which shows how broken our current system still is.
Here is the official full text of the bill AB1400. The opening page gives a Legislative Digest summary explanation of what the bill does and how it will work.
And here is information from the organization Health Care for All California of how to get involved in supporting this bill: https://healthcareforall.org/category/ab-1400/